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Should people attend volunteer activities which are not relevant to their subject?

I used to consider to volunteer to educate people who live in a poor village in Western China. But this may not relevant with my future career. #education #volunteering #volunteer

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Caroline’s Answer

Yes, absolutely it's the fact that you are helping others shows charecter traits. I definetely recommend doing this.

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Lucien’s Answer


Volunteering should not just be exclusive to your field of study/ Career.

Its a chance to build great character traits and new skills as well as help make a positive impact to the people and environment around you.

Whilst it looks great on your CV etc It will also help you become a well rounded person as and help with your personal development.

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Elaine’s Answer

Absolutely! Volunteerism helps develop leadership and interpersonal skills that will be valuable wherever your journey takes you. I'm a volunteer trainer for YMCA of the USA. Research shows that volunteerism may also reduce stress, boost self-esteem and positively affect heart health.

Many years ago I spent three weeks volunteering for the Dartford YMCA in London. It was nothing but positive for me personally and professionally. The YMCA has a long-standing commitment to volunteers, as do many other non-profit organizations.

Good luck!

Elaine recommends the following next steps:

Search volunteer opportunities with the YMCA https://www.ymcatg.org/volunteer/
Check out other volunteer opportunities https://volunteerteam.london.gov.uk
Consider different opportunities that might benefit your career goals, your community and you personally.

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Sheila’s Answer

Hello Wenge:

It's great that you want to volunteer. I agree with all the previous comments. Volunteering helps build character and makes you feel good about yourself. You do not have to volunteer in your field; you could find something that you want to learn or do it just for fun. Or, find an opportunity that could help you build upon a skill you want to learn or practice. There's no right or wrong way when it comes to volunteering.

Good luck to you and I hope you find that right volunteer opportunity.

~ Sheila

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

VolunteerMatch.org. https://www.volunteermatch.org/nonprofits/
Volunteer in England. https://www.gooverseas.com/volunteer-abroad/england

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Karishma’s Answer

Yes definitely, it doesn't matter what field the volunteering is in it is always a good idea and great to show on your CV/talk about in interviews.

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Armin’s Answer

I believe there are two areas an answer to this question needs to cover:

1) Let's start with the "egoistic", career oriented side: Even if the area you're volunteering in isn't directly related to your subject it will help you to develop soft skills you will also need to be successful in your career. You will learn about teamwork, you will learn about communication with a variety of people and backgrounds, you will learn about empathy and much more. All these skills are extremely relevant to progress. It also shows that you have interests wider than just your work and are developing a more rounded personality. Employers realise this and will likely rate you higher.

2) Let's round it off with the more general and compassionate side: Volunteering is about giving back to society, to the less privileged and less fortunate. If you're studying for a degree you are likely to be better off than many others. Supporting them, helping them will help society in general, but also you personally.

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Wenge,

I would recommend volunteering in any capacity that you can. Volunteering at its core is about helping others, not gain anything for yourself. However, you can gain skills from any volunteering that you choose to engage in. Sometimes you will learn that you are not good at something. I did that volunteering to create a garden, Sometimes you will learn that you can climb that 12-foot ladder and paint a ceiling without falling. I believe that challenging yourself with things that you do not know makes you a better person. You might even find a new hobby or even a new career.


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Matthew’s Answer

Attending volunteer activities, no matter their relevance, is essential to both your own character development as well as the impact on your community.

I've been involved in volunteer/community work since before college and it has had an immense impact on my life: in the workplace, in school, and in all relationships.

Participating in diverse volunteering activities will obviously help others, and also help you grow as a person.

Matthew recommends the following next steps:

Join as many volunteering groups as you can to stay updated on events you can help out on!

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Pamela’s Answer

Absolutely! Volunteering is always good regardless of your chosen education or career. You are helping people in any kind of situation and that is just remarkable - It also helps you build skillsets that will be useful for you in the future...and a chance for you to meet a variety of different people and cultures

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Deidre Mercedes’s Answer

Any volunteer work is useful. No matter what your future career goals may be. You demonstrate compassion and a willingness to help others and that is always a plus in anybody's book.

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Beth’s Answer

Giving of your time and talents to others is good for others AND for you. Developing communication skills is an important part of any career. If you can talk to a diverse population about a variety of topics, you will be be more valuable on a team in the workplace in the future. Plus helping others makes you FEEL good, which creates a positive attitude, which is a big plus in the workplace. And finally, add your volunteer work to your resume, because it shows that you think outside of your own self-interests.

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Sejal’s Answer

Hi Wenge, this is a great question! Echoing with others have said, "yes!" you definitely should attend volunteer activities that may or may not be relevant to your subject.

Volunteering certainly looks great on applications, but it's also a great way for a potential employer to learn more about you as a person, and it's good for your soul. I've found that volunteering for different organizations or areas of needs simply makes me feel good, and I can take that motivation to conquer seemingly difficult tasks in my personal life.

Volunteering is a great way to demonstrate parts of your personality that others may otherwise not be able to see. For example, let's say you are interested in pursuing a career in information technology, but you volunteer with the Best Buddies (an organization that creates opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities), you would demonstrate your compassion for different types of people.

Additionally, volunteering is a great way to network! You never know who knows someone who may be in your field of interest. They could connect you, because they see your positive traits.

It doesn't have to be a huge, known organization, either. Find an area that means something to you, and put your energy into it. The rewards will be there!